History of Medicine Bacterial Genetics: 1946-58 His inquisitiveness, facility for establishing connections between scientific disciplines, and grasp of institutional strategy led Joshua Lederberg to the forefront of successive advances in science: molecular genetics in the 1940s and 1950s; the search for extraterrestrial life in the 1950s and 1960s; computers and artificial intelligence in the 1960s and 1970s. His discoveries in genetics produced a deeper understanding not only of the biochemical mechanism of inheritance and mutation in microorganisms, but of the evolution of diseases, the causes of drug resistance, and the possibilities of genetic engineering and gene therapy.
The Deadly Virus True or False? The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 killed more people than died in World War One. View the Documents and Photos Hard as it is to believe, the answer is true. World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world's population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history. The plague emerged in two phases. In late spring of 1918, the first phase, known as the "three-day fever," appeared without warning. Few deaths were reported. Victims recovered after a few days. When the disease surfaced again that fall, it was far more severe.